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Failure to Report Absences Merits Dismissal for Washington Prison Guard

The Washington State Personnel Appeals Board (PAB) has denied the appeal of a Washington Department of Corrections guard who was suspended and dismissed for repeated failures to report to work and call in his absences.

Clallam Bay Corrections Center guard Michael Dopps has been the subject of six prior formal and informal disciplinary actions for either failing to report to work or for being tardy between October 1998 and December 2002.

Because Dopps’s weapons qualifications had lapsed, he was prohibited from from manning any “armed post” until he received his weapons qualification. On September 17, 2002, Dopps was reassigned from his tower post to another unit. Dopps said he was refusing to work any post other than Tower 1, or he would go home. When his supervising Lieutenant advised him to report to his post, Dopps left the prison.

Between September 28th, and October 8, 2002, Dopps failed to report to work three times without advising the prison of his absence. He was suspended, and when he failed to meet with the prison superintendent on November 25, 2002, he was dismissed.

The PAB held the sanction was appropriate for Dopps willful failure to comply with policy that required him to report to his new post and to report his absences. His gross misconduct kept the prison from being able to carry out its functions and cost it overtime. The appeal was denied. See: Dopps v. Department of Corrections, PAB No:
Dism-030009 (2004) . The PAB ruling is in the briefbank.

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Related legal case

Dopps v. Department of Corrections